We have enabled a number of exciting new features in Blackboard Learn for the Spring 15 term: Inline Grading and Blackboard Collaborate integration.
Faculty using Bb Learn to post assignments and receive student work can now review that work and comment on it online without having to download those documents. We expect this to be much more convenient for faculty and students and a very powerful tool, particularly in combination with SafeAssign, Bb's the integrated plagiarism/originality feature. For a general explanation of inline grading, please watch this brief video from Blackboard. Faculty may also contact IIT Online's Brad Katz, email@example.com, with questions about this feature.
In addition to the Bb Learn LMS, Illinois Tech is now licensed across the university to use Collaborate. Collaborate is a synchronous tool with a shared whiteboard and application sharing, as well as A/V and text-based chat, breakout rooms, live polling, and recording. It is fully integrated with Learn as a tool and can leverage student rosters and the Grade Center. There are also stand-alone mobile apps (iOS and Android) for Collaborate. We are really excited about the the potential for this tool but we must also highlight that there is a learning curve and a need for practice before one might use it effectively. In addition, live sessions present a different need for service/support responsiveness. To make sure that everyone has the best experience, we strongly encourage faculty to contact IIT Online for more details before using Collaborate.
Blackboard Learn and Collaborate overview sessions for faculty are now scheduled for January. Here's the information posted in IIT Today.
Collaborate is Illinois Tech's new synchronous online collaboration tool that will be available in every course shell with the spring semester. If you are faculty and interested in learning more about this new tool, attend an overview session and check out the new Collaborate Training (BB_TD_COLLABORATE_TRAINING) course shell in the permanent training term in Blackboard. The course is self-enrolling with an access code; we created directions to make it easy to enroll. It is strongly recommended that faculty review the recordings of sessions already conducted to become familiar with this new tool. The course also contains resources and additional information to assist in using Collaborate. Recording and workshop descriptions, schedules, and instructions for accessing the Collaborate tool for the first time can be found here.
Blackboard Learn (Bb) was updated to the latest service pack during the August 15, 2014, routine OTS service window. This update includes regular software updates plus a few new features to improve the student and faculty functionality and experience. New features include SafeAssign integration into the Assignment function, and a trueStudent Preview ability. You may also notice a few other features in this update. Over the semester, the Bb at IIT team may more formally introduce these additional features and provide additional faculty training. In the meantime, please look at the new walk-throughs and cheat sheets in IIT Bb Resources and wherever you see a NEW 8/14: note. You can also learn more at a faculty session, sign up under Training.
The main topic for SLATE's February 2.19.14 meeting is a "Course Design Showcase & Panel":
"Every institution with online courses deals with online course design. This panel will be an opportunity for institutions to highlight what they are doing in their online courses and compare notes on design do's and don’ts. Panel members will be invited to share an online course (or more) to highlight the types of tools, activities, and resources they are utilizing and ask the group for suggestions on areas they are still trying to improve."
This is an open meeting and participation is free but an RSVP for face-to face attendees is requested by 2.17.14. Please follow this link if you want more details: http://goo.gl/bwhzFa
You can also log in and watch/participate remotely via the web.
SLATE is an acronym for Supporting Learning and Technology in Education and was formed in part as our regional Blackboard user group. It is platform independent, though, and member institutions use a range of LMS solution including Moodle and Canvas. The focus tends to be on practice rather than specific tools:
For more information, visit the Slate website: http://www.slategroup.org/
You can also reach out to Brad Katz (firstname.lastname@example.org or 312.567.7213) with questions.
Please be aware that access to the old Blackboard 8 system (used prior to Spring 2013) will end with the end of this semester. If faculty have any courses or content to keep from the old system, please use the export feature now to save content to a personal system before Friday night, December 13. That is the routine OTS maintenance window when OTS will decommission Blackboard 8.
Should faculty need any old course content (again, this is ONLY for CONTENT PRIOR TO January 2013), please export it and save it to your own computer until ready to import it into the current system, Blackboard 9.1. Faculty may use individual MyIIT credentials to log into the old system at http://oldblackboard.iit.edu/. Faculty may review courses there and if necessary, export courses and/or content before December 13. In a rare instance where a faculty member may need to access content from Blackboard 8 after this time, faculty will need to open a support request through the Support Desk.
To assist with exporting and importing content, faculty should make use of these resources:
WhenTuesdays 10:00am – 11:00am and Wednesdays 2:30pm - 3:30pm
WhereStuart 103, Main Campus
DescriptionIIT Online announces regular office hours to support faculty with Blackboard and other educational technologies. These are intended as open, working meetings with faculty with no pre-planned agendas. Drop-in sessions are twice a week in our offices at 103 Stuart on Main Campus. See the University Calendar to confirm dates and times, especially around the end of term or holidays. As always, we are also available by phone or email to provide non-technical support, and by appointment. If you have questions, please contact: Brad Katz Manager, Instructional Design IIT Online | Illinois Institute of Technology email@example.com 312.567.7213 (ext. 77213)
On August 16, IIT’s Blackboard will be updated with most of the latest features active for Fall 13. IIT Online is again providing sessions and workshops at the start of the term to help faculty get acquainted with new features. Please see the calendar below or IIT Today for details and session times. We will also offer training and development throughout the term, including a return of our popular series, "Brown Bags on Teaching and Pedagoy." Contact Brad Katz, firstname.lastname@example.org for details. Please continue to use the OTS Support Desk (email@example.com) for technical issues and requests. In the meantime, some of the changes include:
Please see the Training section and calendar below for Fall 2013 orientation sessions and workshops to better acquaint faculty with the latest features in Blackboard. IIT moved to Blackboard 9.1 in Spring 2013 and we're updating to the latest service pack with new features on during the routine OTS maintenance window on August 16.
Drop in sessions begin next week. If you or your department would like additional sessions or topics, please let us know - a form is available on the training page.